Tag Archives: railway

Site seeing – August 26 – Weathered and downright dirty

If you’ve followed the blog for any length of time, or know me personally, you’ll know that I don’t like clean things (my personal hygiene excepted). Every model I touch ends up weathered to one degree or another. And so onto todays sites of interest.

Site 1: Dirty stuff by Martin Wellberg – A German Gmhs 53 Boxcar in scale 1 (1:32nd scale)

This is part 1 of Martin’s so far 3 part treatise on weathering this large railcar. Wait till you see the photos. That’s all I’m saying on the matter.

Site 2: This is part 2 of the weathering of said German boxcar

In part 2 there is a little more of what Martin has been up to. Drool people, just drool.

Site 3: Part 3 from above

More train eye candy as Martin gets on with the weathering on the Gmhs 53 boxcar.

Site 4: Freerails Forum posts by Martin on other large-scale rail subjects

You should not need to be a member to view the posts. Definitely to post or reply though. Lots more pictures in what is now a 6 page post by Martin and those of us following him. Not to be missed.

Here’s a taste of the work Martin is creating:

I hope you enjoy Martin’s work.

Show report – January 23 – Corio

The Corio model railway club hold their exhibition each year on or about the Australia Day weekend at the tail end of January. This year it was on the 23rd and 24th of January at the Geelong West Town Hall. It is a very good location with plenty of parking locally and some great food and shopping close by. Close to public transport and easy to get to as well for those coming from out-of-town (like me).

As this is usually the first show I get to (unless i can get down to Warrnambool or Philip Island for their show at the beginning of January) my expectations are riding high and these are usually met on arrival.

This year however the show seemed to be a case of the good, the bad and the ugly.

The good

When it’s good, it was very, very good.

  1. Jackson’s Creek (Gallery view)

Jackson's Creek-01

This layout is a On30 layout showcasing the narrow gauge railways of Victoria. There were others apart from Puffing Billy though they all used the same or similar equipment to deliver their service. The presentation was outstanding. Well lit, presented and displayed (although a little more action would have kept people around a little longer) this was the outstanding large layout of the show. There are more pictures in the gallery available from the link above.

2. Murri (Gallery View)

Murri04

Based on the Victorian South West, Murri provides a very well displayed layout for big trains running through typical Victorian countryside. I particularly liked the West Coast railway set running on the Saturday morning. For such a big layout though, there was little action happening and that downgraded it from best large layout for me. There are more pictures in the gallery available from the link above.

3. Micro Layout (Gallery View)

Tucked away in the back corner of the show, was what I consider the best layout in show.

Micro01

Well presented, with a high standard of work throughout and ideal to help get people into the business of building small and interesting layouts this unnamed layout deserved much more attention from the club than it received. There were two other Micro layouts (and they’re in the picture, but they were put in the shade by this little beauty as you can see by the presentation, and the attention of the young man in the extreme right of the photo. The more you looked into the layout box, the more you got. The track plan was very simple but the level of presentation completely overwhelmed you.

What let the presentation down though was that it was not operating, and the builder was not there. The person minding the store had no idea and could not talk to you about the layout at all. Come on Corio, you have a real gem here, and this should have been shouted from the roof tops!

The bad

When it was bad, it was awful.

Rather than point fingers and show photos let’s talk about the standard of presentation. An exhibition aims to publicly display works of art, craft or other items of interest or provide a display or demonstration of a skill.

I am not sure that simply running a train on a layout is enough though. Especially when these were at very low height; which while perfect for 4 year olds do nothing for grumpy 50 year olds to whom they are of the greatest interest.

One layout in particular was very low in both height and presentation standard with cars derailing and operators not noticing. Talk about embarrassing? It was in a dark area of the hall and had no light rig to focus attention on the layout areas. I’ve seen this layout before and by comparison it looked old, dusty and tired. And not in a good way.

The ugly

I was disappointed to note the layouts at the show that were not ready to exhibit. Among the problems were layouts still being set up an hour after the show opened, very poor lighting on many of the layouts, and what appeared to be constant derailments on one of the vendor’s layouts already mentioned.

More so was me apparently missing out on a range of layouts and vendors tucked away in a part of the hall – according to the exhibition guide – that was neither signed nor pointed out by club members. That was a real disappointment when I reviewed the day on my return home.

Takeaway

Being one of the closest non-Ballarat exhibitions the Corio show is one of my favourite exhibitions and it really starts my railway exhibition year. It’s still a 190 km round trip to see it by car but normally is well worth the effort. I’ve written an email to the club about my views and while I don’t expect a response I hope that there is a change next year – for the better.

You can find out more about the club and the next show by visiting the website at: http://www.coriomrc.org/.

Site Seeing March 22

Bound for South Australia

Small, smart, practical exhibition layouts are not as easy to find as I’d like in Australia. Most club layouts are huge affairs, requiring many willing hands, a box trailer or van, and a pioneering spirit to move from home to exhibition to home.

Site 1: “Commercial Road” – 1960s South Australian Railways (Link Here)

One such layout that just popped up on my radar on Thursday is the Commercial Road layout of Gavin Thrum of South Australia. If you’ve not come in contact with the railways of South Australia before then you are in for a real treat.

Commercial Road – view the website for more great pictures of the layout

The South Australian railways are an interesting study in Multiculturalism. Originally built to English standards,  and operating practices, in 3 gauges (Irish Broad at 5′ 3″, Standard Gauge at 4′ 8 1/2″, and Narrow Gauge at 3′ 6″) the states rail system was a hodge-podge of types and wooden bodies goods and freight wagons until 1922 when the state’s worst financial deficit reared its ugly head.

To the rescue rode Commissioner William Webb (of the Missouri Kansas and Texas RR) and from 1922 Mr Webb revolutionised railroading in the south.

Engine 502 – 1953 – Public Domain Image courtesy of Wikipedia (more detial below)

Speed signalling, large steam engines, metal freight cars, Brill railcars, and more became the norm. Today there are still three gauges in use and lots of action through the state and in Adelaide where electrification has finally arrived (link here); Very similar to the Victorian VLocity diesel railcar (link here) that I travel in down to Melbourne. (I love electric traction)

But I digress; back to the layout. It’s a great small layout measuring 10′ 10″ long by just 13″ wide. Hop on over to his site and take a look at the images and the modelling. Really well worth a visit.

Resources

Wikipedia article on the SAR – Link Here

More on the big steamers of the Web Era

Exhibition Report – Labour Day Weekend March 7-9

In Victoria there are two exhibitions (that I am aware of) on the Labour Day Long Weekend (March 7-9). First is the very large exhibition at Sandown Racecourse; the second is the great little exhibition at Kyneton.

On Saturday March 7 the kids and I decided to head off to Kyneton only, as there was also a trade fair on showcasing all of the Ye Olde trades that my son loves.

Having finally gotten the video uploaded today on youtube, I hope you enjoy the overview of the show.

This is one of the best little shows around in regional Victoria. It is easily doable by public transport, with a nice walk into town from the railway station.  The food in town is really good, with a lot of great eateries.

If you are driving it is easy to get to, taking us only about an hour from Ballarat; roughly the same time from Melbourne. Quicker from Bendigo.

Site Seeing 18 February

Introduction

The IAIS Grimes Industrial Line

1 – The IAIS Grimes Industrial Line

In my site seeing post yesterday I mentioned the publishing bonanza we’ve inherited thanks to the internet. One of these great sites is the free (as in Beer) internet Model Railroading Magazine – the Model Railroad Hobbyist (Link Here).

Apart from a great magazine that I’ve read since issue number one, there are the modellers blogs that are associated on the site. Among the best of the blogs is the Grimes Industrial layout blog of JFMcNab (Link Here).

You can also see a range of photos from his layout on the Unofficial IAIS Railfans website (Link Here).

Take some time and take a look around and discover the Grimes Industrial Line. I think you’ll enjoy the Grimes Line sites.

Resources:

Watch one of James’ videos from his YouTube channel: